Ronnie O’Sullivan denies ever apologising to Ali Carter after their infamous clash at the 2018 World Snooker Championship, despite the Captain claiming otherwise.
The pair met in the second round at the Crucible and with the score 10-8 in Carter’s favour there was a clash of shoulders as O’Sullivan returned to his chair.
There were then words exchanged as the referee tried to calm things down, but it all left a very tense atmosphere in the theatre, one which clearly suited Carter as he went on to win 13-9.
Asked about their relationship last year, Carter said the incident was all in the past thanks to an apology from the Rocket.
‘Yeah I spoke to him plenty about it, actually, there’s no hard feelings, it was heat of the moment stuff,’ Carter said after qualifying for the 2019 World Championship.
‘I haven’t been the fondest of Ronnie over the years, but I’ve got the ultimate respect for him as a player and what did give me ultimate respect for him was at the UK Championship, at the hotel when I was having breakfast.
‘We’re not boxers, we’re not enemies, it’s just a game of sticks and balls. I’m happy with my life, you’re happy with your life, let’s just be friends.’
Carter and O’Sullivan meet for a place in the final of the Northern Ireland Open on Saturday after knowing each other for the best part of 30 years.
The two men came through the junior ranks together in Essex and have a long history together, one which took an unexpected turn at the start of the year.
O’Sullivan chose not to play in the Masters back in January, allowing Carter to take his spot as the highest-ranked player not to qualify. The Captain snapped up the opportunity, reaching the final and pocketing £100,000 for his efforts.
‘He’s always been on my Christmas card list, I’m not sure I’m on his though,’ Carter said after losing the final to Stuart Bingham.
‘I’ve done a couple of interviews in the studio, he seems very pleased for me. I said “thanks Ron.”‘
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